Can Probiotics Help You Lose Weight?
Most people would agree that weight gain is typically a product of lifestyle. But what most people don’t realize is that in many cases, a microbial imbalance is the hidden culprit underlying weight gain. What causes such an imbalance? Stress, environmental toxins and a diet high in sugar and processed foods can all play a role in altering the delicate balance of “good” and “bad” microorganisms that exists within the body.
Your digestive tract is lined with beneficial bacteria and yeasts, also known as probiotics, which are there to keep your digestive and immune systems in balance. And, as research is beginning to show, these beneficial microorganisms also play many other important roles in maintaining health. In fact, number of recent studies have shown that probiotics may play a role in keeping your weight in a healthy range.
A recent study adds to the growing body of research which shows how probiotics can help you lose weight. Japanese researchers found that daily probiotic supplements may help promote weight loss in people with obese tendencies, according to findings published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers recruited 87 overweight people to participate in their multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. The participants were randomly assigned to receive 200 grams per day of fermented milk with or without added probiotics (a Lactobacillus strain known as L. gasseri) for 12 weeks.
At the end of the study, significant decreases were observed in probiotics group in body weight, body mass index and waist circumference. Daily consumption of probiotics was associated with a 4.6% reduction in abdominal fat, and a 3.3% reduction in subcutaneous fat. No significant reductions were observed in the control group, however. (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2010, Volume 64, Number 6, 636-643.)